Tag Archives: home energy audit

3 Times Is Not A Charm

Randy Newman is an avid “06880” reader.

No, not the singer/songwriter/arranger/composer/pianist. He doesn’t live in Westport. Except for his song “Short People,” he has absolutely no connection with me.

This Randy Newman lives a normal Westport life, in a normal Westport home. It’s 3,000 square feet. He and his wife Jill have 3 kids, ages 11, 9 and 6.

The Newmans are environmentally conscious. “We have Energy Star appliances out the wazoo,” Randy says. “We have LED lights all over. I even yell at my kids to turn them off.”

The Newmans' house.

The Newmans’ house.

A while back — responding to an “06880” story about energy audits — they had one done. The house passed with flying colors.

But, Randy says, for the past few months CL&P has told the family they use 3 times the amount of energy of an average Westport home.

Surprised and curious, Jill asked friends if they received any reports. They had. In fact, their reports show multiples of the “average usage” too.

The house — built in 1986 — is in a wooded area. In the past 5 years Randy has replaced all the windows, the furnace, his HVAC system,  and the washer and dryer. The Newmans heat their water with oil.

According to the blue line, the Newmans' energy usage is 3 times the Westport aerage.

According to the blue line, the Newmans’ energy usage is 3 times the Westport aerage.

Randy is diligently trying to figure out why his usage is so relatively high. He even installed a TED 5000 energy usage meter, showing real-time consumption.
“At one point I suspected someone was stealing my electricity,” Randy says. “It wasn’t until I used TED that I learned much of my usage was from lights.” So he added even more LED lights, which led to some reduction in usage.

“Do I like A/C?” Randy asks. “Yeah. Do I have a big TV? Yeah — a couple. But 3 times the average?  I don’t watch that much TV in the cold.”

Randy wonders, “Is everyone in Westport using 3 times the Westport average?”

If so, we should change our name to Lake Wobegon: “where all the homes are above average.”

(Gotten a notice from CL&P about your energy usage? Click “Comments” to share your story. And please, use your full, real name.)